2015 is disappearing before our very eyes, but what better way to finish it than to plan a new menu for the new year? Here are a few things to bear in mind when planning your next move.
1. The flexitarians are here
Research shows there's an increase in flexitarianism (diets that are mainly vegetarian but include some fish, meat and poultry). This means veggie dishes are still on the rise so you can experiment with items such as quinoa and meat substitutes. The vegans are coming too.
2. Thicker meats for posher burgers
Posh burgers were a key trend this year and it's showing no signs of slowing down. AHDB Beef and Lamb explains customers will demand thicker meats, a greater selection of toppings and premium breads. Two in five say they would rather eat a smaller portion of their favourite meal opposed to a reduced-calorie version, so just make it smaller but better.
3. World foods
International influences continue to appear on pub menus, so why not try out Venezuelan shredded beef, Japanese teriyaki short ribs or Scandinavian inspired smoked lamb with fennel?
4. Street food is here to stay
Horizons' director of marketing and business development, Emma Read, says: "You only have to go to one of London's busiest street food areas, such as Borough Market, to see the variety of cuisines on offer and how busy they are at lunchtimes."
5. Sustainability and provenance
People want to know what they're eating and how their food got there, from farm to fork, including food miles. Show customers by sourcing policies on menus.
6. Insects are the new protein
They keep saying it's coming and we're hoping this is the time. Although we didn't see a huge amount of grasshoppers on menus in pubs around the country this year, customers are more focused on sustainability than ever (and yes, insects are hugely sustainable). 2015 saw the opening of the UK's first insect-based restaurant Grub Kitchen, so it's only a matter of time until pubs follow.
7. Say goodbye to traditional mealtimes
Lunch is extending beyond its traditional times due to a demand from those who want to eat it anywhere between mid-morning and late afternoon. There is a huge market for pubs to tap into this and offer a wider range of lunchtime dishes.